During the course of time, the nations all over the world have recognized the importance of intellectual property rights due to its immense economic values and have enacted laws towards protecting them. The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights! (TRIPS), is a milestone in the history of the Trade Mark Law as it has influenced the law on trade mark in almost all nations of the world including India. It is a significant international instrument, zealously aiming to protect Intellectual Property Rights across the globe to reward one’s creativity and inventiveness. The member nations to this Agreement have enacted laws in tune with the provisions of the Agreement on TRIPS. India already has sufficient enactments on this area.
A trademark is a distinctive sign or indicator of some kind which is used by an individual, business organization or other legal entity to uniquely identify the source of its products and/or services to consumers, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities. It typically comprises a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. The meaning and scope of the term Trade Mark has been explained in the case of Firm Koonerji Bechari Lai J vs. Firm Adam Hazi Pir Mohammed as follows: Trade Mark is some symbol consisting in general of a picture label word or words which is applied or attached to goods of a trader so as to distinguish them as his from similar goods of other traders and to identify them as his goods or as those of his successors in the business which they are produced or put forward for sale.” It is also used informally to refer to any distinguishing attribute by which an individual is readily identified, such as the well known characteristics of celebrities. When a trademark is used in relation to services rather than products, it may sometimes be called a service mark, particularly in the United States. To put it simply, Trade Mark is a property right and law protects that right.
The owner of a registered trademark may commence legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark. However, registration is not required. The owner of a common law trademark may also file suit, but an unregistered mark may be protectable only within the geographical area within which it has been used or in geographical areas into which it may be reasonably expected to expand. The use of a trademark indicates that the maker or dealer believes that the quality of the goods will enhance his or her standing or goodwill, and a known trademark indicates to a buyer the reputation that is staked on the goods. Registration of a trademark is necessary in some countries to give exclusive right to it. In the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, the sufficient use of a trademark not previously used establishes exclusive right to it, but registration is provided as an aid in defending that right. People rely on trademarks to make informed decisions about the products they buy.
A trademark acts as a guarantee of the quality and origin of a particular good. A competing manufacturer may not use another company’s trademark. The owner of a trademark may challenge any use of the mark that infringes upon the owner’s rights.